Words and Images: Chinese Poetry, Calligraphy, and Painting

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Alfreda Murck, Wen C. Fong, Wen Fong
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1991 - Calligraphy, Chinese - 589 pages
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In May of 1985, an international symposium was held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in honor of John M. Crawford, Jr., whose gifts of Chinese calligraphy and painting have constituted a significant addition to the Museum's holdings. Over a three-day period, senior scholars from China, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and the United States expressed a wide range of perspectives on an issue central to the history of Chinese visual aesthetics: the relationships between poetry, calligraphy, and painting. The practice of integrating the three art forms-known as san-chiieh, or the three perfections-in one work of art emerged during the Sung and Yuan dynasties largely in the context of literati culture, and it has stimulated lively critical discussion ever since. This publication contains twenty-three essays based on the papers presented at the Crawford symposium. Grouped by subject matter in a roughly chronological order, these essays reflect research on topics spanning two millennia of Chinese history. The result is an interdisciplinary exploration of the complex set of relationships between words and images by art historians, literary historians, and scholars of calligraphy. Their findings provide us with a new level of understanding of this rich and complicated subject and suggest further directions for the study of Chinese art history. The essays are accompanied by 255 illustrations, some of which reproduce works rarely published. Chinese characters have been provided throughout the text for artists names, terms, titles of works of art and literature, and important historical figures, as well as for excerpts of selected poetry and prose. A chronology, also containing Chinese characters, and an extensive index contribute to making this book illuminating and invaluable to both the specialist and the layman.
 

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About the author (1991)

Wen C. Fong was born in Shanghai, China in 1930. He came to the United States at the age of 18. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in medieval European art history and a Ph.D in art history, with a focus on ancient China, from Princeton University. His doctoral work became the basis for his first book The Lohans and a Bridge to Heaven. He taught at Princeton for 40 years and helped establish the nation's first doctoral degree program in Chinese art and archaeology there in 1959. His other books included Beyond Representation: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy 8th-14th Century. He also helped the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York build one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian art and antiquities in the world. He retired from the Met in 2000. He died from leukemia on October 3, 2018 at the age of 88.

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